Enugu State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Fintan Ekochin, has dismissed rumour making the rounds that there was a reported case of monkey pox in the state. The commissioner said Enugu State has surveillance team, a set of officers distributed across the 17 local government areas of the state, whose job is to look out for diseases that we overlook.
“They are on duty everyday, since last year, since Ebola, they are on duty. “They look out for yellow fever, lassa fever, Ebola, every kind of disease, including cholera, and they make report available immediately. So we have no reported outbreak of monkey pox in Enugu.” Ekochin stated that the defence mechanism in the state is surveillance, which he said is continuous through disease notification officers at the local government areas. “Again, we have the state epidemiologist who is a medical doctor in the Ministry of Health that coordinates all these people. So surveillance is steadily on which we do by ourselves or support from partners for advocacy whenever necessary,” said Ekochin He noted that there has been only one established and confirmed case of monkey-pox in Nigeria in Bayelsa State, saying: “All these other ones you are hearing about are suspected cases. There is only one confirmed case of monkey pox in Nigeria and surveillance is going but we have no confirmed case of monkey pox in Enugu State.” On the precautions against the disease, Ekochin advised people to maintain basic hygiene everywhere, at homes, offices and in handling animals as pets. He said: “Let me tell you, the so called monkey-pox is caused by a virus similar to chicken-pox. Who is afraid of chicken pox? It’s there, it comes in seasons, depending on whether and temperature, it affects the children. “So chicken-pox is a bigger thing to worry than monkey-pox. The virus that causes monkey-pox is very old. It’s an old disease, the last reported case was in the 70s. So it’s not a new disease that has made medical practitioners confused, no! “There is no vaccine for monkey-pox and there is no specific drug treatment. However, it runs a natural cause that in most cases is not fatal. There is nothing to fear about money-pox.”